Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

How safe are your apps?

Key icon to represent security

A recent report by Forrester Consulting suggests your web applications may be far more vulnerable than you think. According to Forrester, 51% of the 240 North American and European companies surveyed experienced at least one application security incident since the beginning of 2011. And 18% of those suffered losses of at least $500,000. For 8% of those surveyed, losses topped $1 million.

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What is the role of security in application development?

Unlock the Keys to Application Development

The majority of developers are not security experts, and secure coding is historically not identified as a priority. Oftentimes, the arduous task of vulnerability identification and remediation cannot be successfully addressed by limited IT security resources.

Look for an app development services provider who offers a time-saving solution for all types of security testing — outsourced, individual, and enterprise-wide analysis — and for all types of users, including application developers, build managers, Quality Assurance (QA) teams, penetration testers, security auditors, and senior management.

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Security in the cloud: What you need to know

Cloud icon with a lock to represent Cloud computing security

Cloud computing gets immense attention these days as a profound agent of change affecting how IT serves the business. In particular, Cloud computing has begun the untethering of employees from their desks and their offices. Because the mobility of today’s, and tomorrow’s workforce cannot happen without the Cloud.

Yet worries about Cloud security abound, and for good reason: Cloud computing that involves processing sensitive or regulated data in shared environments needs extra scrutiny in terms of security (as well as codifying requirements, defining a cloud services contract, managing the transition from in-house to cloud, and overseeing the resulting mixed IT environment).

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What’s Happening to the IT Department?

Where once IT departments were the sole source when it came to technology implementation, today technology is finding its way into corporate America through nearly every department.

Marketing folks may have been among the first to leave the IT department fold when they ditched cumbersome CRM systems for easy-to-use Salesforce.com, but they were just the tip of what has grown into a pretty big iceberg.

Virtually every day sees a new app available to help workers be more productive — and those workers aren’t hesitating to download those apps and get on with business.

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Securing your virtual environment

Securing Virtual Cloud Environment

Odds are your IT environment is somehow engaged in virtualization — either directly in your data center or indirectly via the service providers you’ve engaged.

But how much have you — or your IT people — thought about virtualization security? This matters more than you may think. One Gartner analyst has estimated that 60% of virtualized servers will be less secure than the physical servers they’ve replaced.

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Think it can’t happen to you? Think again

Target with a cluster of bullet holes around the bulls eye.

Two kinds of security threats have emerged of late that need special attention, even if you’re running a small enterprise: Targeted zero-day attacks and advanced persistent threats.

Targeted zero-day attacks
Microsoft’s recent Internet Explorer security flaw (see my last blog post) is a fine example of a zero-day attack. The attackers got their edge from speed, since reactive countermeasures that depend on threat signatures — such as patching and tools like antivirus software and intrusion prevention — couldn’t be updated fast enough to halt the flaw.

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The importance of IT security vigilance

Importance of Managed IT Security

Last September 18th, Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security warned that nation’s population not to use Internet Explorer because of an IE security flaw “is already being used for targeted attacks” designed to lure users to an infected website which, when visited, allows hackers to take control of the user’s computer. Soon after, the Swedish government issued a similar warning.

Even worse, Microsoft was not immediately able to fix the problem. First came a temporary patch, said to be less that complete.

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Essentials to business disaster preparedness — #5: Test your plan and review it often

Why Test your Business Continuity Plan Frequently?

Business continuity plans aren’t worth a whole lot if they don’t work. And you cannot know whether or not they work unless you test them.

So that’s my fifth step toward business disaster preparedness: Test your plan — often.

Testing your plan frequently is essential. Change has a way of sneaking up on organizations, and those changes can disrupt your carefully laid plan to overcome disruptions. Fortunately, the right service provider will include regular testing in the price of your service.

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Essentials to business disaster preparedness — #3: Make a business continuity plan

Business Continuity Planning

By definition, no event that interrupts your organization’s operations is trivial, so when it comes to preparing for disaster that might impact your business IT, you need a plan that addresses all emergencies that could disrupt your business. To create an effective plan, you’ll need to:

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Data Center Shopping: Dig Deeper

Data center discussions inevitably come around to the issue of standards. And while I agree that standards, like the recently released SSAE 16, are good to consider when you’re data center shopping, you should never rely on a facility being “in compliance” as the exclusive determinate for your selection.

Standards should be the place where you begin your search. After you’ve checked off the boxes that ensure compliance with whatever standards your industry requires, dig a bit deeper.

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